October 20, 2021 - Baba 10, 1738
Martyrdom of St. Sergius, the companion of St. Bacchus
On this day was the martyrdom of St. Sergius, the Companion of St. Bacchus. He was a high ranking soldier, advanced in the court of Emperor Maximianus, who showed him great favor. Because this Emperor was pagan and these two saints were people of faith, he sent them to Antiochus, King of Syria, to torture them and slay them if they did not give up their faith. Antiochus inflicted St. Bacchus with severe tortures and when he did not dissuade him from keeping to his Christianity, he ordered his men to slay him. They slayed him and cast him into the Euphrates River and the water waves brought him to the bank. The Lord sent an eagle to guard the pure body and inspired two saints to take it. They took it with respect and buried it. St. Sergius remained sorry for him until he saw in his sleep his brother Bacchus in a beautiful palace, shining brightly; so his soul was exceedingly comforted. After this, the governor commanded his men to drive nails into St. Sergius' feet, and to send him to El-Rusafa tied to the tails of the horses; his blood flowed down on the ground. On their way, they met a damsel who was a virgin, and they drank water from her. When she saw the condition the saint was in, she felt sad for him and she pitied his youth and his fine form. The saint told her, Come, follow me to the city of El-Rusafa to take my body. And she followed him. The governor of that city was a friend of St. Sergius, and it was through him that he had this position. He tried to convince him to change his mind to save his life. And when he did not accept his advice, he ordered that his head be cut off. That virgin drew near and received the blood which flowed from his holy neck and kept in a clip of wool. But the holy body was kept until the end of the days of strife when they built a church for him at El-Rusafa. Fifteen bishops consecrated it and laid his holy body in a coffin made of marble. Those who went to be blessed witnessed that a perfumed oil distilled from his body and healed the sick. May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.